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SEN with EFL

Discussion in 'Special educational needs' started by gingercath, Feb 8, 2011.

  1. Hi,
    I am an EFL teacher and am currently teaching an adult beginners (A1) class. One of the students in my class amy have autism. He hasn't been statemented becuase he is Thai and apparently it is a taboo subject there.
    I, and indeed no on in my school, has had any training on SEN. I am working on a rolling enrollment programme so studemnts coming and going each week, so very mixed ability.
    Can anyone help with advice or suggestions?

    Thanks
    Cath
     
  2. Hi,
    I am an EFL teacher and am currently teaching an adult beginners (A1) class. One of the students in my class amy have autism. He hasn't been statemented becuase he is Thai and apparently it is a taboo subject there.
    I, and indeed no on in my school, has had any training on SEN. I am working on a rolling enrollment programme so studemnts coming and going each week, so very mixed ability.
    Can anyone help with advice or suggestions?

    Thanks
    Cath
     
  3. Dodros

    Dodros Star commenter

    I have teaching and research interests in foreign language (including EFL) learners with special educational needs. How do you know your student has an autistic spectrum disorder (ASD)? Only a medical practitioner can diagnose ASD. Post-diagnosis treatment of people with ASD is often the preserve of speech and language therapists, as ASD is a communication as well as an interaction difficulty.
    If you want to read some professional literature relating to modern foreign language (MFL) learners with ASD and their educational inclusion, then have a look at the ASD section of my bibliography of MFL and SEN at
    http://www.specialeducationalneeds.com/mfl/biblio.doc
    The easiest reference to get hold of is the MFL booklet in the ASD curriculum series at
    http://www.teachernet.gov.uk/docbank/index.cfm?id=6701
    My own experience of MFL learners with ASD has left me with the impression that they are happiest when learning and applying the rules of language and least happy when using language for social interaction. However, students with ASD are also individuals and it's really impossible to generalise about the progress they will make in English or indeed and language. Some may become linguistic geniuses, while others won't see the point of constructing dialogues to be delivered during imaginary visits to the target language country.
    If you're unsure whether your student has ASD, try and find out as much as you can about his educational history so you can glean what you can about effective classroom strategies for him. Focus on his strengths rather than his weaknesses, and if he has a record of behaviour difficulties, find out what triggers any incidents so that you can avoid doing things that set him off. Above all, and this applies to all students with SEN, be sensitive and don't force any student to act out anything, or to read aloud, in front of the whole class. Many students with SEN carry a burden of poor self-esteem and hate risk-taking. This doesn't mean that you should remove every challenge, but it does mean that you need to prepare such vulnerable students properly for possibly distressing situations.
     
  4. Hi,
    thanks for your reply. The thing that made it very difficult with this student is that he is from Thailand where any SEN's are taboo, so no formal diagnosis was made.
    Tha story has a happy ending, in that our student made excellent progress, both inside and outside of the classroom, we are having awareness traning as a staff body on SEN and the student is coming back in a couple of months to carry on with his studies.
    Thanks for your help.
    Cath
     

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